You drew Uncle Fred, or Grandma, or Aunt Gert in the gift drawing and you’re stuck for a good idea! When you sought a hint, they responded that they are down-sizing or that you shouldn’t fuss, or that you definitely shouldn’t waste your money. But, it’s the Holidays and what fun is that? They may be telling you that if they have to store it, dust it, maintain it, or figure it out, it is not something they would enjoy. There are a lot of wonderful gifts they would enjoy and those are often the most creative. Better yet, they may be the most meaningful for them and for you. Sometimes the most precious gift is the right under our noses – taking time with someone you love. Often family photos go unmarked and sitting down over one or more picture sessions will not only make them meaningful but often photos evoke wonderful family stories to pass on. Caution: If you give a gift of time, it is a promise so be sure you follow up and not disappoint.
Here are some ideas:
* Family event calendars: Add each birthday, anniversary, and family event.
* A box of birthday, get well, and sympathy cards with stamps:
- A great way to extend that Social Security check! Wrap up packets of cards addressed, stamped and ready to mail along with a post-it giving the mailing date.
* Time Coupons:
- A breakfast date; a ride and lunch, a few hours marking family photos (As in who are all these people in the family photos?)
- A movie and dinner
- Passes for local theaters and favorite restaurants make a neat package and, if you tuck in a gas card, you’ll make someone happy twice, when they open the gift and when they spend the gift certificates
- A pedicure — One of the difficult things about getting older is foot care.
- Bending over, trying to see your toes clearly, and nail trimming can be difficult. Pedicures are a delicious experience. A professional pedicure includes being treated to a foamy foot bath, exfoliating lotions, filing callous build-up, cuticle trimming and nail clipping. This is not just a lady’s only gift – Grandpa might enjoy having his feet and toes given a tune-up as well.
- Gift certificates for the hair dresser, a massage, or a facial.
- Even when someone is living in an assisted living facility or nursing facility, there are often beauty shops with gift certificates.
- Lightly scented soaps, lotions and oils
- These bathing a treat and last long after the holidays. Lavender, rose and sandalwood are popular light fragrances.
- For men, sandalwood and lime are good choices. Tuck in a pair or two of socks with treads and you’ll have the makings of a beautiful gift basket.
- Home Maintenance Projects
- Helping people stay in their homes is a rising trend, but sometimes the maintenance of independence is overwhelming.
- Offer house cleaning, up keep and yard work as a family or hire a house cleaning service or a lawn service to mow, rake, or weed and feed.
- A birdbath heater and bird food to keep the birds well fed and the people inside well entertained by their antics.
- Gift subscriptions to the local newspaper, magazines or their local cable company are all thoughtful ways to help stretch a Social Security check.